Risk Management

ICVA Briefing Paper: Risk and Humanitarian Culture 


For anyone that has spent time working with humanitarian aid, risk is a familiar concept. Humanitarians inherently work in places of high fragility, conflict, or instability. In order to operate effectively in such high-risk environments, it is critical for NGOs to understand how to identify and manage risk. Responding to this gap in practical application, ICVA is launching a briefing series on Risk. Risk and Humanitarian Culture, is the first briefing paper of the series and aims to examine the current risk landscape in humanitarian aid. In total, the Risk briefing series has three core objectives:

1. Make the discussion on risk management more accessible to practitioners and decision-makers.

2. Examine some of the core risk management issues unique to the humanitarian space.

3. Ensure existing risk management tools and lessons are identified and understood.






Webinar - Risky Business: Reframing the fundamentals of risk management for humanitarians

The discipline of risk management is not new, and there has already been a significant amount of work to translate risk management practice and tools for use in humanitarian operations. Despite this, humanitarian organisations continue to struggle with applying risk management in their decision-making process.

On 21 November 2019, ICVA and PHAP organised the first webinar in a series aimed at exploring the current state of risk management in the humanitarian sector. This webinar will introduce the concept of risk management and provide an overview of the particular challenges to apply this in humanitarian work. As part of framing how these challenges can be overcome, we will hear from practitioners sharing their experiences of how risk management is carried out in local and international NGOs, as well as UN agencies.

Participants in the webinar learned about the need to balance management of the risks inherent to the work with the desire to reach people in need in the most difficult contexts. They also learned about the importance of developing an organizational culture that understands risk management as a discipline that cuts across all levels of an organisation.


Watch the Youtube recording below and now you can also listen to the Podcast:





Patroba Otieno

Risk and Financial Specialist, World Vision Somalia







Jeremy Rempel

Head of Humanitarian Financing, ICVA







Angharad Laing

Executive Director, PHAP​





Jeremy Rempel

Head of Humanitarian Financing, ICVA




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